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Manually removing extra blank lines from a Microsoft Word document is tedious. Luckily, a feature built into Word can remove all empty lines at once. Here’s how to do it.

How Blank Lines Work in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word adds a hidden tag (called a “paragraph tag”) to the end of each line whenever you hit Enter. You can see these tags in your document by clicking the paragraph icon (which looks like a backward “P” with two lines) in the “Home” tab of Word.

Paragraph tags in a Word document

Using “Find and Replace” in Word, you can replace those double paragraph tags with a single tag. That removes the extra empty lines from your document.

How to Delete Extra Blank Lines in a Word Document

To start removing empty lines, open your document with Microsoft Word. Click “Home” in the menu and then select “Replace” on the right of the screen.

Click "Replace" in the Home tab of the Word window

The “Find and Replace” window will open. Click the “Find What” box and type this:


Each “^p” is a special code that stands for the paragraph tag. We’re going to replace instances of two-paragraph tags in a row with a single paragraph tag. In the “Replace With” box, type this:


Then click “Replace All” at the bottom of the window.

Click "Replace All" in Word's "Find and Replace" window

After you click, all the blank lines will be removed from your document. When you see the confirmation pop-up, click “OK.”

A Word document with no blank lines.

If you still see any blank lines, that’s because there were more than two consecutive blank lines in place. In this case, click “Replace All” in the “Find and Replace” window again until all the extra lines are removed (or you can experiment with the number of “^p” codes that you find and replace until your needs are met).

When you’re all done, close the “Find and Replace” window. If you ever get annoyed with horizontal lines automatically appearing in Word when you type certain characters, you can replace those, too.

RELATED: How to Remove Automatic Horizontal Lines in Word

Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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